Customer loyalty schemes aren’t a new invention. But in the world of modern business, they’re an essential asset for any enterprise. It’s estimated that over 80% of people in America are part of a loyalty programme, while 61% of retailers say customer retention is their biggest obstacle. Fortunately, as always, the tech startup industry is more than happy to take on the challenge.
Every year more and more innovative enterprises spring into action to make customer retention and acquisition easier for businesses. Today we’ll look at three startups paving the way for customer loyalty in the digital age.
But first, let’s talk about why customers join loyalty schemes in the first place. According to industry research, 76% of customers believe loyalty schemes are part of their relationship with brands and businesses, while 64% agree they are their best way to connect with customers in return.
However, the main reason most people join a loyalty scheme is to save money and earn rewards. Hence why many businesses will also provide offers to new customers, followed by the promise of more as a reward for loyalty too. You might even be part of a few reward programmes yourself.
Naturally, in a time where we’re all in a state of constant interconnectivity, ideas snowball. Competition between businesses is fierce and loyalty programmes are just one more market to beat competitors at.
That’s why startups are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved, for both big enterprises and small. Let’s look at three innovative groups making an impact right now.
Bink is a startup that safely links payment cards to customer loyalty schemes. So, instead of shoppers needing to carry a card for every single programme they’re signed up for, they can simply pay for goods via a linked card and have everything tracked at POS.
There’s no need to spend time finding and then presenting a specific loyalty card.
Bink’s system streamlines the process for customers, adding ease to their transactions and tracking. Removing friction from any transactional process has its obvious advantages for any business.
After all, the easier it is for somebody to pay, the more likely they are to part with their cash.
But, this isn’t everything Bink has to offer businesses.
Their platforms contain customer acquisition software, which identifies potential new loyalty members too. Bink will invite buyers to join loyalty schemes they might not be signed up to via a seamless sign-up process. As well as provide businesses with loyalty rich data to personalize their rewards.
Loyalzoo claims to be the easiest loyalty app for small businesses and independent retailers.
Just like Bink, they’re a tech startup looking to do away with the need for cumbersome cards, by providing a platform for businesses to run their loyalty programmes via an app.
Loyalzoo also allows independents to access the same customer analytics as big brands.
Again, similarly to Bink, Loyalzoo tracks rewards at the point of sale, which streamlines the whole process even further.
Tracking rewards at the point of sale has been incredibly successful for online enterprises so far as business can provide instant rewards.
The online casino market is an easy example to see this kind of tracking in action. If a customer from England plays a certain amount of games, they might be awarded a UK Casino Bonus instantaneously, which is relevant to both their location and their playing preferences.
The process is almost seamless and doesn’t add extra barriers for the customer, unlike finding cards or scanning QR codes in a store.Loyalzoo are doing a great job at making this type of seamless tracking a possibility for smaller independent stores.
— KornChain Limited (@KornChain_ltd) November 20, 2019
LoyalT is an exciting startup using blockchain technology to integrate business. They provide a platform for businesses to combine their loyalty schemes in one global network.
So, although you might gain five points for grabbing a bagel, you could put those points toward flight costs for your next family holiday. However, if you’re feeling generous, LoyalT also lets you transfer points to other users, or turn them into a charitable donation. It’s no surprise they were award winners at The Loyalty Magazine Awards 2019.
To understand LoyalT better, it’s important to look at how it works. Most of us will recognize blockchain as the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Etherium, or XRP. Yet, what a blockchain boils down to is an immutable record of data accompanied by a timestamp.
These long, complicated streams of information allow for information to be passed instantaneously, but in an incredibly secure manner.
Naturally, LoyalT is also a powerful marketing tool. Their technology tracks valuable customer insights, building banks of rich data to drive sales and increase efficiency.
As you’d expect, this data also helps businesses create personalized offers and vouchers for their customers. It appears that data acquisition is a huge draw for all three of our chosen startups.
Gone are the days of stuffing our purses and wallets with clunky plastic cards.
What we’re seeing is customer loyalty schemes brought into the digitised age.
Major franchises and independents alike are now able to access the technology to make it possible, thanks in part to innovative startups like the three above.